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Featured Music Reviews

Neo-soul group, Solomon’s Garden, is the new face of black British soul music

The United Kingdom has an entertainment culture that most envy. The city is very multicultural which definitely shows in the type of music that comes out of the city, be it broken beat, jazz, house or soul music. The last few years, the soul scene in the UK has grown tremendously and the growth has reached a point where one London can be regarded as the global hub of soul music. Yes, that is a rather bold statement – but the amount of great quality RnB and soul has come out of the city and the regions surrounding. Now, I have to admit, I speak on the London scene from an outsider’s perspective as Nusoulhub Radio is based in Johannesburg, South Africa, but one thing’s for sure – our team has its hand on the pulse of what’s hip and happening in the global alternative music realm.

A lot of talent has came out of the UK, most notably acts like Tom Misch, Loyle Carner, Alfa Mist just to name a few and the city has also attracted talent from other regions of the world, like Jordan Rakei. One of the many talents that are getting an increased amount of exposure is none other than RnB outfit, Solomon’s Garden. The group first popped on our radar a few months ago and the first project we got hear was Welcome To The Garden, an introductory six-track EP which was released in February this year. We were blown away by the group’s fresh approach to RnB – the music was filled with modern content and modern soul production. Through the group’s work, we got to familiarise ourselves with the new and emerging faces of black British soul music. One would expect such music coming out of the capital city of England, London, but not this time around as the group is from Kent, a county in South East England.

 

Image via Solomon’s Garden

After the success of their first EP, Solomon’s Garden showed more intent to succeed with the release of their second EP titled From Dust, To Gold. The number of songs in the second EP is similar to the first EP, which compels to assume that the number ‘6’ is the group’s lucky number. From Dust, To Gold is unquestionably a masterpiece, an incredible body of work. We’re definitely looking forward to more from the group in future.

Stream their From Dust, To Gold EP below:

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Featured Music Reviews

Summer Salt’s bossa nova & surf rock influenced style sets them apart from the rest


Summer Salt is a three-member Rock ‘n Roll band from Houston, Texas, with the members being Matt the vocalist, Eugene who is the drummer and last but not least, Phil the bass player. A 60’s surf rock reference and comparison is not enough as their style of music is a medley of different, acoustic genres of music. The most notable, or rather most recognisable, genre in their style is surf rock with a hint of bossa nova. As modern as Summer Salt’s music is, it still has a mysterious way of reminding you of great artists like Willie Bobo, who made great songs like Evil Ways which inspired latin jazz and bossa nova greats like Carlos Santana. Not only that, but the band’s music has the power to compel a listener to revisit great albums by surf rock greats like the Beach Boys and The Ventures.

In 2014, the band introduced themselves to the world with their brilliant debut titled ‘Driving To Hawaii‘ and from the title alone, you can imagine the type of vibes the album had. The debut project was a combination of the oldies, indie rock, doo wop and surf rock – serving a purpose of leaving clues of what they were about and their difference in style. Driving To Hawaii was followed by the December 2015 release of Going Native, which can be noted as a continuation of their first project.

Great things take time, surely great music also requires a considerable amount of time to create before the general music-loving masses can enjoy it. Summer Salt fans had to wait an entire year for the release of the band’s third project, So Polite, which dropped on the 3rd of April 2017. So Polite may be a short project, but that does not take away from the quality of the music. In fact, the project’s short nature is perfect as the content of the music is breathtakingly beautiful and well-crafted. The compositions give you an other-worldly tropical experience which is characterised by tranquility, peace and love. This music hits the depths of the heart, it really does!

Stream Summer Salt’s latest project, So Polite, here:

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Featured Music Reviews

Long Beach, California, duo Soular System takes us on a soulful journey with their new album


Long Beach, California, based duo Soular System first came up on our radar when they dropped their debut project, Summer Solstice, in June 2016. We were immediately enamored with their music as we were forced to reminisce to a time when soul music made us feel. The digital age has given modern music a short lifespan and it is becoming more difficult to find albums that are timeless. Soular System challenges that notion and their new project, Eclipse, is testament to that.

Eclipse is an auditory experience like no other coupled with an unmatched soulful feel – guaranteeing all types of wonderful ‘feels’. You can expect to hear a combination of Funk, Soul, House RnB, Hip Hop and electronic nuances sprinkled all over the twelve-track strong album. The vocalist, Anthony Lynn, serenades the listener with his unique and uncharacteristic style of singing which complements the productions made by Tom Kendall.

Eight months ago, the duo first gave us, Sakatim, a teaser of what we were to expect from the album. 

Songs like For James Yancey serve as reminders as to why this type of music important – with the song being a beautiful interpretation of the late J Dilla‘s work. Music with soul, a feeling and a connection is not dead y’all and Soular System is a crucial voice making sure that modern neo-soul is alive and well.

Stream the project below

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Music Premiere Reviews

PREMIERE: MelV drops a dreamy track called ‘Endless’ intensifying his #FayaFriday campaign


MelV continues to give us weekend bangers to rock to. He is hell-bent on etching his name on the South African urban music map with his #FayaFriday campaign – where he releases a track every Friday. We don’t know when this great campaign is ending, but we are not complaining because this means more music for us.

The latest track is titled Endless which may allude to his undying creative spirit and his insatiable urge to release his music.

Stream the track below:

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Music Premiere Reviews

PREMIERE: KaeB drops a smooth RnB track featuring the talented songstress, Melo B Jones

KaeB (real name Kabelo Tsoako) is insanely talented and quite honestly a workaholic. He comes through with another amazing track featuring Joburg-based singer-songwriter, Melo B Jones. The track is titled ‘G A I N S‘ and it has Melo B soothing and serenading the listener with her beautiful voice, with lyrics that are rather hard-hitting. The lyrics of the song communicate the hardships of relationships and doubt that arises when things don’t go accordingly in a relationship. KaeB’s production perfectly complements Melo B’s beautiful voice – further showcasing KaeB’s versatile production style.

Stream the track below:

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Culture Music Music Industry Insights

Listen to our interview with Woke Arts founder, STY7EZ

We were recently afforded the opportunity and privilege to interview of South Africa’s rising creative entrepreneurs, STY7EZ. STY7EZ is the founder of artist development, creative showcase and creative business platform called Woke Arts.

Our founder had a long interesting conversation with STY7EZ about how he started, plans for the future, the importance of African creativity and purposeful art.

We got an opportunity to showcase how we use the devices that we have at hand like smartphones and laptops to run and operate our radio station.

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Culture Music

Our ninth show, The Leverage Show, is live on Soundcloud & iTunes


Stream our ninth show called ‘The Leverage Show’ on Soundcloud and iTunes.

After weeks of no music, as we introduced our discussion-focused podcast The Measures, we come back with a jam packed show. This one is called The Leverage Show, where showcase all the sounds that we’ve been vibing to during the last few weeks. We’re leveraging our platform and our opportunities to bring you dope music.

Stream our latest show here:

Our shows are now finally on iTunes. Listen to our shows on iTunes .

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Culture Music

Mzansi Mnandi frontman & pioneer, Thiaps, releases Snegenege Vol 1

Our first interaction with charismatic Johannesburg based artist, Thiaps, was through his culture-shifting and authentically South African release of SUPERFISHAAL.  SUPERFISHAAL served as a perfect introduction to his art – the project was filled with character, attitude and a level of enviable and unmatched patriotism to his own country and culture.

Thiaps’ confidence is undoubtedly inspirational. He packs enough artristic fire-power that forces the South African listener to reminisce to a time when acts like Morafe, HHP, Teargas and Zuluboy were standout acts giving us a fresh local take on Hip Hop and showed us what was possible with the music. Thiaps shows us that it is okay to carry our culture, our language and heritage to communicate a universal message with his music. Themes of good times, his upbringing, his roots, struggle, love and township life are intelligently communicated in his music – something South African Hip Hop music often lacks. Is it even fair to box him into Hip Hop? I mean, sure he raps and can rap circles around your favourite rapper but he cannot just be reduced to another ‘rapper’, that would simply be an inaccurate description – Thiaps embodies much more, so much more.

Thiaps creates his own creative lane, one that cannot be easily be replicated.

Championing who you truly are, where you come from and honestly capturing the South African story indicates an admirable level of bravery. It must be tough having to shake off Western influences when making music in this highly globalised world – a world that can be cruel to African artists. Surprisingly, the rest of the world often hungers for true African sounds, language, cadences and tradition to come through in the music that we export.

Thiaps snegenege vol 1

Thiaps has come back with a brilliant short EP called Snegenege Vol. 1, a project that is surely going to raise the flag high for Mzansi Mnandi, a purely South African genre Thiaps is pioneering with his DiPOPAAi compadres. Thiaps is not only behind Mzansi Mnandi, but he is also propelling Tsotsi taal to the fore – Tsotsi Taal is a language formed through the mixture of a variety of South African languages mainly spoken in the Gauteng province of South Africa. He prefers to coin the language and the lifestyle that he leads Sofistikasi. Snegenege means snack in Sofistikasi which perfectly describes the EP as it is short and serves as a temporary – but impactful – filler for something bigger coming in future. The EP was inspired by recent work by popular South African rapper, Ricky Rick, called Scooby Snacks.

How many artists can you name, who are not only bringing innovation in music but are also creating their own language and lifestyle? I doubt that anyone can name more than five artists, local and global, who are doing that. Thiaps is clearly not a follower of trends, but a leader that is shifting culture and introducing a new school of thought. Seven months ago, Thiaps dropped the first single from the EP called Show Dem produced by Swaziland-born and Johannesburg-based producer, Rendition. Thiaps confidently clarifies his position in the game, taunts his peers and expresses his intent. The message is clear – Thiaps promises disruption and longevity.

Snegenege Vol 1. is only four tracks strong, with one of the songs being a short throwback of a South African classic by the legendary DJ Mujava called Mugwanti. Fifty-percent of the project was produced by KaeB, who has close ties with Thiaps as they share a love and passion for music and animation. Hunna and Dibirie are personifications of South African flair which Thiaps proudly embodies. It’s incredible how much unique content Thiaps managed to fit in such a short project which goes to show that we are undoubtedly being readied for more impactful and ground-breaking bodies of work in the future.

Thiaps does not compromise when it comes to who he is and where he comes from, with his head screwed on right and his goals clearly identified – how can he be stopped?

Stream Snegenege Vol. 1 below:

The project is also available for download here.

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Music Reviews Videos

Cape Town rapper, Mvula Drae, drops visuals for his song ‘Make Ends’

Mvula Drae (born Mvula Dyantyi) is a South African artist we recently came across and it’s unfortunate that we are only taking note of him now. The internet really came through for us this time around as a simple Facebook share of Mvula’s Make Ends video landed on one of our team member’s timeline sparked it all for us. We were then compelled to find out more about the Cape Town based creative.

As mentioned on his Soundcloud profile, Mvula Drae is a 21 year old rapper who has built a solid fanbase and possesses an unrivaled ability to rap his heart. With a 19 track deep catalogue on Soundcloud, you are in for something incredible – especially if you, like us, were introduced to Mvula through his amazing video for Make Ends.

The song, Make Ends, boasts over 2,900 listens on Soundcloud and as it stands the video has garnered about 5,600 views on Facebook in less than two days. The video is highly conceptual and perfectly depicts what the song is about – the harsh realities of life, overcoming struggles and the strides one needs to take to achieve their dreams.

 

Tryna make ends, find a way in
I’m tired of hoppin’ off stages and into basements
Doing favors for fake friends got my patience tainted
Now I’m getting anxious, damn it I’m tryna make it

 

The song details some of the obstacles Mvula Drae has to overcome in his quest for success but in the same breath, he is trying to find middle-ground in what the world deems as successful and what success means to him. He is faced with an existential conundrum, where he has to choose what he wants for his life whilst being heavily invested into his art and scrambling to lessen the pressure of making ends meet in this cutthroat world.

Mvula Drae is a talented artist and his work has definitely pulled us out of our slumber of ignorance. South Africa definitely has a treasure and a strong, youthful voice that can give honest recollections of South African life. He doesn’t only possess and ooze a certain star-quality that far exceeds any current status quo, he carries a confidence that – if he continues to share his truth with the world – will make him an artist that has lasting power and a positive impact on society.

Stream Make Ends below:

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Music Premiere Reviews

PREMIERE: MelV drops a dope edit of Desiigner’s track All Around The World

MelVAATWRemix Nusoulhub Radio
The Johannesburg based producer, MelV, is determination personified. Last week Friday, we premiered one of his tracks called D.I.Y and this week be bring you another premiere of one his tracks. This time around he brings us an edit of one of Desiigner’s break out hits All Around The World. MelV incorporates elements of the Mzansi Mnandi genre that him and his compadres are pioneering, trap and a synth-heavy bounce that adds an interesting layer to the edit.

We are looking forward to more music from the East Rand based producer, who has done nothing but impress in the last few weeks.

Stream the track below: